In conversation with celebrated photographer Mohammad Jasem Alwazzan
He is an award-winning photographer; he is a volunteer for community service; and, he is an influencer. That’s Mohammad Jasem Alwazzan for you. Mr. Alwazzan is one of the most popular foods, travel, and project photographers in Kuwait, known for working with the biggest companies in the country. It’s an honor to have him with us here today.
Q: Mr. Alwazzan, thank you for making time and coming here to talk to us. We would like to know a little about how you chose photography as your profession?
A: Thank you for having me here. Well, I came into photography in 1996 while studying at SDSU, San Diego. I was finishing my higher education there and my minor was in Digital Art. That was the time I learned about the science behind photography. It intrigued me so much that I started taking photos with my Canon camera. And there was no turning back since then.
Q: Did you have an interest in photography as a child?
A: I was more into basketball. In fact, I played basketball professionally as a teenager. Later, I switched to automobile and water sports like motocross races, cars, and jet-ski.
Q: Who is your biggest inspiration in the field of photography?
A: There are two names that I would like to mention: Photographer Karl Taylor and Photographer Jerry Ghionis. I have been following their works on Instagram for years. I’d like to think that the images I capture reflect the skills I’ve learned from them.
Q: You are in the photography industry for 24 years now. Did you win any award during this time?
A: I’ve won two awards for photography: one from the Minister of the Ministry of Information in 2007 for the Award for Best 3D graphic design for the KTV news channel. And the second one was for the Best Photojournalism in 2002. Apart from photography, I’ve won a couple of racing awards like the winner of Amateur Motocross and the runner-up for Porsche Amateur Class, Middle-East Division.
Q: That’s a fantastic set of records you have, Mr. Alwazzan. It comes as no surprise that so many people look up to you. When did you realize that you have an influence on your fans and how do use that influence?
A: I started noticing a trend that my Instagram followers were using the same typography that I usually use in my Instagram stories. I later found out that people visit the places that I go to, and even wear similar clothes that I wear. But apart from these things, what makes me happy is I have managed to shift people’s interest in photography and editing. I come from a conservative family and I know how hard it is for people like me to express themselves. And it gives me immense happiness when I see people saying that it was me who influenced them to take up photography.
Q: What plans do you have for your future?
A: Firstly, I would want to expand my studio here in Kuwait. I also want to start online photography schools so that aspiring photographers can learn the tricks of the trade. Additionally, I want to explore new photography styles and take up fashion shoots, modeling projects, street life, and hair and makeup photography.